If the British Royal Navy set the model for the production of top notch Naval officers, then the Prussian/German Army set the model for top notch Army officers.
As part of my professional development I have been instructed to read "Attacks" by Field Marshal Rommel. This rounds out "On War" by Clausewitz and "Battle Leadership" By Captain Von Schell that I've read on my own inititative. The problem with professional development is that you don't always have the time to read everything you want to while reading everything you have to.
On a broad scale the officer corps of WWII was lead by West Pointers, and filled out with ROTC commanders and staff and fought by OCS alumni at the company level. This made for a very effective fighting force. It would be over four decades before OCS produced a General Officer.
Since the general course of instruction has generally remained the same since WWII I feel confident to say that OCS is meant to produce a competent junior officer. ROTC was meant to produce a professional career officer to command and staff Brigades and Below. West Point has always born the burden of producing officers of the highest caliber, and once was the primary source of professional officers in the US.
Funding battles and modern warfare have changed the way things actually happen. OCS and ROTC alumni have since proven themselves at the highest level of command. Some of the traditions that came from having the bulk of officers come from West Point have taken a backseat to operational needs.
But some traditions remain, and in particular the tradition of guided professional development is alive and well in my unit. Both my Company and Battalion commander have assigned reading. The follow up group discussion with the Captain seemed to surprise him because of the things that his subordinates took away from the texts.
This type of education is different from any other school. In kindegarten all the way through college the goal was to get THE right answer. Here it is to get A right answer, and know WHY your answer will work AND be able to articulate the thought process behind it. As my father says, "Sometimes you have to have a 'critical mass' of information before you can connect the dots and have knowledge."
One thing is for sure, with all the advantages of battle space domination that we have has made terrain less of a concern than with previous generations of leaders. Hence the need for historical study to help us visualize a battlefield fought by equally equipped forces without air support. Rest assured that even as we learn in the Big Army schoolhouse how to use the technology of the future to kill the enemies of the present we study the wars of the past to learn how to kill the enemies of the future. Next up is how to learn the lessons of nation building and apply them at my level.